Harry Hutchins joins John Latimer on Tuesday mornings for A Talk on the Wildside. This week he wanted to talk about national monuments and the Antiquities Act of 1906 that was initially created by President Teddy Roosevelt to prevent looting of Indian artifacts. The act prevents commercial development or future mineral exploitation.
Tatiana Schlossberg from The New York Times reported
The president can make national monuments only from land already controlled by the federal government, and the act generally does not change how the land is used, said Lisa Dale, the associate director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. If leases for mining, ranching, drilling or logging already exist on land to be made into a national monument, they can continue, but new leases probably won’t be allowed, she said.
Most legal scholars and historians agree that the Antiquities Act does not give the president the authority to revoke previous national monument designations, but a president can change the boundaries of a national monument. Congress can convert a national monument into a national park, which it has done many times.